The Relief Report® Extra

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 300 Eye St., NE #3, Washington, D C 20002, 202/543/1286, Fax 202/543/4779, E-Mail [email protected], Web

Issue #4 * October 25, 1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Issues in Election '96

New York Times Spotlights Partisanship of Environmental Groups
Sierra Club Said to Coordinate Campaign Activities
with DNC, Democratic Campaigns

The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters -- two environmental organizations that claim to be non-partisan -- have been coordinating their election 1996 activities with the Democrat National Committee and Democrat party candidates. That appears to be the conclusion, at least, of The New York Times' John Cushman in an October 23 article.

In his article, "Environmentalists Ante Up to Sway a Number of Races," Cushman noted that the Sierra Club failed to endorse even one Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and in a number of instances has been actively coordinating its campaign activities with those of Democratic candidates. One such candidate is Representative Dick Swett (D-NH) who is vying to unseat Senator Bob Smith (R-NH).

"[Senator Smith has been singled out by the Sierra Club] because this seat is one targeted by the Democratic National Committee and because they are advocates for the DNC," said Smith aide Lisa Harrison in the article.

Harrison's comments and the thrust of Cushman's piece appear to be well-justified. A recent study of eight environmental PACs by John Shanahan of the Alexis deTocqueville Institute concluded that 95.2% of the campaign funds expended by these groups during the 1995-1996 election cycle were "anti-Republican." In some cases, the partisanship was even more obvious: Noted Shanahan, "[An] internal memorandum from the Sierra Club's Conservation Director noted, 'Throughout the presidential primaries our volunteers in New Hampshire and Iowa bird dogged the Republican candidates by appearing at public meetings and calling in to radio shows and asking the candidates pointed questions about the environment...'" For more information on the study, contact John Shanahan at 703/351-4969.

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 300 Eye Street, NE Suite 3 * Washington, DC 20002 * Tel 202/543/1286 * Fax 202/543/4779 * E-mail [email protected] * (C) 1996, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of material in the Relief Report permitted provided source is credited.


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